@ACCWBB Head Coaches Honor McGraw, McBride and DeShields
Tuesday March 11, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) –Notre Dame senior guard Kayla McBride has been voted the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year by the league’s 15 head coaches, as announced Tuesday by Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford.
In addition to recognizing McBride, the coaches chose Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw as the 2014 Coach of the Year, while North Carolina’s Diamond DeShields earned Rookie of the Year honors.
A midseason candidate for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) State Farm Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award, McBride has started all 32 games for Notre Dame this season, registering career highs of 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game with a 1.82 assist/turnover ratio
The Erie, Pa., native is a fixture among the ACC statistical leaders, ranking in the top 15 in five categories -- scoring (11th), free throw percentage (3rd - 87.4 percent), assist/turnover ratio (5th), assists (10th) and three-point percentage (10th - 36.8 percent). In conference games, McBride ranked seventh in scoring (19.3 ppg.), first in free throw percentage (91.9 percent), third in assist/turnover ratio (2.03) and eighth in assists (4.1 apg.).
On Feb. 3, McBride swept all the major national player of the week awards (espnW, USBWA and NCAA.com) and was named ACC Player of the Week after averaging 20.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists with a 60.0 field goal percentage in wins over No. 8/6 Maryland, Virginia Tech and No. 3 Duke.
Notre Dame’s McGraw led the Irish through a seamless transition in their first season of ACC competition, claiming both the regular season ACC title as well as the ACC Tournament Championship. The Fighting Irish own a 32-0 overall record that included a 16-0 mark in conference regular-season play, and are one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I. Notre Dame is only the ninth conference team in ACC women’s basketball history to finish league play undefeated, and only the fourth team with a perfect 16-0 ACC record.
McGraw, who owns 746 wins in 32 seasons as a collegiate head coach, has her team ranked second nationally heading into postseason play. McGraw was also named the ACC’s Coach of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel.
North Carolina’s DeShields made an immediate impact as a freshman, ranking ninth among ACC scorers at 18.0 points per game while also ranking among the conference leaders in steals (1.7 per game) and free-throw shooting (76.1 percent). In league games, DeShields averaged 19.8 points (4th in the ACC) and 6.1 rebounds (17th) per game while knocking down 81.3 percent of her free throws (9th).
A 6-foot-1 guard from Norcoss, Ga., DeShields was voted the ACC Rookie of the Week three times and was named the espnW National Player of the Week on Feb. 16 after her 38-point effort (the highest single-game effort ever by a UNC freshman) keyed the Tar Heels to an 89-82 win at NC State. DeShields was also named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel.
ACC teams await postseason tournament announcements as the NCAA will select its field of 64 on Monday, March 17 on ESPN at 7 p.m., while the WNIT will announce its bracket following the NCAA’s selections.
Head Coaches Honors
Coach of the Year – Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
Player of the Year – Kayla McBride, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Rookie of the Year – Diamond DeShields, Fr., G, North Carolina
*voting for the head coaches honors took place prior to the ACC Tournament